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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Kings

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames didn’t give Joni Ortio much to work with in his National Hockey League debut.

The 22-year-old rookie netminder made 22 saves but the Flames fell 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday, snapping a five-game winning streak on home ice that dates back to Jan. 22.

Dustin Brown’s goal just three minutes into the contest held up as the winner. Brown converted a miscue in the Calgary zone and jammed the puck between Ortio’s pads to put the Kings up 1-0.

Despite eight shots in the first period and another 15 in the second, the Flames couldn’t crack Jonathan Quick, who recorded his fourth shutout of the season.

Brown helped put the Kings up 2-0 just 3:30 into the third. The Los Angeles captain found Dwight King alone at the top of Ortio’s crease who, with a couple of whacks, put his 12th of the season behind the Calgary keeper.


Just 1:39 into the third period, Ortio flashed the leather to deny Brown’s backhand on the doorstep to temporarily keep the Flames within one.


Less than two minutes after Ortio’s quick glove save on Brown, the Kings captain found King alone in the slot, who extended Los Angeles’ lead to two and ended Calgary’s chance at a comeback.


“I'm very happy with both guys. Joni, even before the game, I watched him pretty closely and he was solid. This morning, he didn't show any nervousness. Before the game, I was anxious to see how he would get on the ice and he was ready for that start. Whenever you don't give any goals to a goalie, it's prettty tough for him to win a game. But Joni played good. And Granlund made some great plays. He didn't seem out of place at all. For his first game, I liked his game also.”

-Bob Hartley


Also making his NHL debut, Markus Granlund had two shots and was 50 percent in the faceoff circle in 7:14 of action.


Derek Smith and Lee Stempniak (personal) were scratched against the Kings. Karri Ramo (lower body), Brian McGrattan (upper body) and Curtis Glencross (knee) all missed the game due to injury.


The Flames hit the road for a two-game set away from Scotiabank Saddledome. They’ll head up HWY 2 to tackle the Edmonton Oilers in the Battle of Alberta on Saturday (8 p.m. MST, CBC, Sportsnet 960 The FAN) before traveling to Minnesota to take on the Wild (6 p.m. MST, SNET-W, Sportsnet 960 The FAN) on Monday.

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